Category Archives: Children’s

Book reviews needs more motion

It’s been a long while since my last book review.. this is not because of a shortage of books, rather a shortage of time to review. While the books keep piling in, I’m still getting through books, slowly. But apparently, I need to get back to the reviewing!

Please help encourage me to complete more reviews, as I know it is helpful to those who want to purchase books. It certainly helps to know if the book is worth the money you pay, right?

My reviews are a brief summary and filled with morals or things the book brings up in my head. It’s very much a process when I read as I sometimes find myself daydreaming about the “what ifs” in my own life. Stories are a great way for me to find resilience, to temporarily step out of my own life for a few moments. I love how it brings me more peace.

Everyone finds balance in their own way, this is just mine. Please tune in for future book reviews as I just received three more children’s books yesterday! I need to get on top of these reviews because the books keep coming!

Putter and the Red Car took me on a road trip across America

Literally, from the east coast to the west, Putter and the Red Car by Kate K. Lund and illustrated by Ana Maria Velicu took me on a road trip. With a few stops in between, driving across America can be fun and exciting. How do you travel with an Airdale terrier from Boston, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington?   

Putter is a seven-year old Airdale terrier who went on a road trip with his human family. They stopped at dog-friendly hotels and got to play on playgrounds, which gave him and his human brothers a chance to stretch their legs after long drives. Putter had a few firsts during this road trip from staying at a hotel to riding an elevator, Putter even got to eat a hamburger!

Stopping to visit friends along the way is always fun, too! Putter had a chance to see a friend, Hercules, and they got to play together. Traveling is often more fun when taking advantage of seeing old friends to spice up a much needed stop.

My son and I read this road trip adventure together. We paused to study the maps at the beginning and end of the book. Being from Hawaii, it was immediate that the map did not include the 50th state. Although, there’s no way anyone will every drive here, it sort of makes sense to not be included as it is a book about road trips.

Otherwise, I personally would have stopped at more significant locations as a learning experience for the boys, places like Philadelphia or Yeklowstone. However, traveling with a pet changes everything as not all hotels or stops are pet-friendly.

A highlight for my son was Mount Rushmore as he recently learned about it at school. We also saw a small display of it at a local retailer the day before reading Putter and the Red Car. If only we could go to all these places he learns about at school!

Putter and the Red Car was provided complimentary for an honest review. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to go on a road trip and needs to prepare their family to do it. I recommend it even for children who want to follow a pet on a road adventure. Happy traveling!

Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow

So many of us live life looking for our purpose. We read books to help us find what is our purpose in this life we are living? Even as adults, we struggle with this. If we struggle with this as adults, do children encounter similar questions? What is their purpose at their young age?


Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow by Shelby Herman touches on finding that purpose in simple terms that children can understand. Shimmer has no idea what her purpose is and it’s causing her glow to fade. She leaves the ME TREE to find out what makes her glow.

If it makes you happy to provide wisdom, then go ahead and be that wisdom. If it makes you happy to be colorful, then be colorful. If it makes you happy to bounce, then bounce away! What is it that makes you happy? Go ahead and do that.

Colorful and simple, Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow takes children through a few possibilities to help them learn how to find their purpose, what makes them glow. My nearly seven year old son has difficulty figuring out what he can do to help others, something he enjoys.

Illustrations compliment the story and enhance the simplicity in this story. I especially love the creatures involved in this book. Each are attractive and welcoming into the storyline.

You know, when I think about finding my own glow, I’m reminded of our dog. She would always be there with kisses and hugs whenever we walked in the door. Her being around us was what made her glow. She was full of life to encourage and bring out my own glow. As a pet, it’s amazing how a creature can bring out the best in us just by being herself.


Sometimes finding your glow is harder than others. As adults, we should work in an industry that we enjoy because otherwise that’s a terrible way to spend our day, right? Do you love what you do? If your answer is no, I highly recommend reading Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow by Shelby Herman!

A complimentary electronic copy of Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow was provided for an honest review.

Reviewing: Strike at Charles’ Farm & Are You Eating My Lunch?

Two adorable bilingual children’s books, written by Canadian Dr Nicole Audet, Strike at Charls’ Farm and Are You Eating My Lunch? Simple and entertaining for young children, these books are sure to keep those children guessing!

Bilingual books are not very common here in the States. I found it fascinating to have both French and English on the same pages. This would be especially useful for bilingual readers, who can share the stories in both languages. French is not language I know how to read, so I would be difficult for me to share appropriately.


Strike at Charles’ Farm is a simple story about going around a farm with each animal not doing what they are supposed to be doing. The animals are very honest sharing their complaint about the farm. The farmer, Charles, simply offers them to ask the zoo to fulfill their requests, they might get the treatment they want. Will the animals return to doing their job? Or will they prefer to live at the zoo?


Are You Eating My Lunch? takes the reader through a zoo. Again, the talking animals are cute and welcoming. A boy is asking each animal if they’re eating his lunch. The animals each tell, him they’re eating their own favorite food. But, where is his lunch? Is anyone eating it?

Both books are brief and enjoyable to a preschooler, or maybe a kindergartener. My son, who is now in first grade, thought he’s too big for these stories, even though it captured his attention. The versions I received complimentary for an honest review had both English and French language on the pages. Having my son attempt to read it on his own may have been confusing for him, but once I explain to him where to look for the English words, he would be fine.

In both books, the animals are colorful and adorable. There’s little distraction of backgrounds and the focus simply on the character the page is about. This makes learning to read the words on a child’s own a bit easier to accomplish as it is common for them to use the images to develop an idea of the story.

Personally, I enjoyed these cute and adorable stories. It would be great for a bilingual preschool class, or a class that was teaching a second language.

Peli – a rhyme of courage and salvation

A pelican named Peli is different from the rest. He doesn’t flaunt it, but instead calls himself blessed. Peli hears a call (is it a little fish? or is it God?) that requires some courage, to save a little fish from an angry shark. The little fish is stuck in the seaweed and the shark sees it trapped. As Peli gets closer, the shark snaps at Peli. Will Peli save the little fish and get away from the shark? 

  
This is an adorable rhyming story of Peli and his adventures. The story shares how God speaks to each of us differently and we just need to listen. When we hear God’s calling, it is up to us to respond. Are you prepared to answer God’s calling? Are you strong enough to evade a shark’s persistent attacks? Then the story takes a very different turn than expected, going from saving the little fish to becoming a father.

Personally, I found it to be more like two stories placed together, one with saving the little fish from the shark and then the ending where Peli meets a female and is having a baby. It might flow better as two different stories instead of thrown together as one. As a Christian based book, placing more emphasis on the relationships between male no female prior to the coming baby should be emhasized more than the living happily ever after part. 

Peli, by Tammy Dominigue and illustrated by Jared Knight, was provided complimentary for an honest review, via Reading Deals. The copy I received was only capable to open on my Kindle Paperwhite device, which is black and white. Therefore, I am unable to view any colors that a color device might be able to see. However, I find the black and white version to she very artistic and simple enough for kids like my six year old. I am sure he would appreciate the color version, but he got the storyline and enjoyed it. 

Skittles Birthday Surprise results from truly humble moments

It’s Skittles birthday and she’s so happy that she wants to spend her time with her mother and her friends. After getting dolled up with a pretty pink bow, skittles heads into a morning of many unforeseen events.


First, she heads downstairs to see her mama, who has hurt her paw. Skittles calls the doctor to help her mama.
Then, she visits with her friends Barney the duck, Jungo the panda, and the Canary brothers to see if they have presents for her. Instead, Skittles finds they have a situation of their own. A dropped ring, a sack of apples, a trumpet swimming in a puddle, and no presents.

As Skittles is happy to help her friends out, she realized at her surprise birthday party that because she helped her mama and her friends, she now has a party, presents, food, and singing!

This a very important lesson to learn as a child. Help those in need and you will be rewarded! The delayed gratification is often forgotten in this day and age. But showing someone we love them and care about them means we do whatever we can to be there for them, help them if we can, or just be a shoulder to lean on.

I was provided with a complimentary copy of Skittles Birthday Surprise by Ansaar Modack through Reading Deals, so I could give an honest review.

When A New Life Begins, it is adored and loved

Whenever a baby mammal is born, it’s mother instinctively watches over him. Parents share their love and affection for the baby and it is common for babies to enjoy the company of other babies. This is no different with Zealy and Whubba in The Adventures of Zealy and Whubba: A New Life Begins by Roe De Pinto.  

 

Zealy is the new seal pup born one winter to loving parents. Zealy is carefully watched over by her parents. One day a young orca whale, Whubba, splashes by and quickly becomes friends with Zealy and immediately finds himself protecting the pup from whatever might harm her. 

Typically, a seal pup is on the food chain for several creatures. There is no indication of the dangers that are present for Zealy. But with Whubba, Zealy is safe. 

 
Adorable and loved book that my son and I read together. I especially love the images of Zealy and Whubba. Zealy’s parents are a bit on the dark side, but their soft eyes make them live able, too. A New Life Begins is a brief story that can be enjoyed by many young children. My son wished it continued on as he’s been reading longer stories lately and gets disappointed with shorter stories, especially when he enjoys the characters. 

A complimentary hard copy of Zealy and Whubba in The Adventures of Zealy and Whubba: A New Life Begins by Roe De Pinto was sent to me by the author for an honest review. As this is Book 1 Series 1, I hope to catch the next adventure. 

How Grandmas and Grandpas Saved Christmas (Book 1 & 2) Review

Grandma and Grandpa are those clever people who love on their grandchildren. They smother these little ones with love and snacks and gifts. When Santa Claus is in need of assistance, why wouldn’t Grandma and Grandpa help save Christmas?

Book 1

One year, the elves were busy making toys from their “hands and heart” for all the good little boys and girls. Suddenly the sun shined through the windows and the elves got excited to play outside. They decided to take a snowball break and go outside to play. Mrs Claus insisted they put on their coats just in case. However, the elves felt it appeared warm and wouldn’t need their coats.

Needless to say, the temperatures dropped and the wind blew fiercely. All the elves were shivering without their coats. When they finally made it back inside, each elf was sneezing, coughing, feverish, and needed rest. But what would happen to the toy making? How will all the toys be made before the short deadline of Christmas?

Santa and retired elf Joe decided to seek the assistance of all the grandmas and grandpas who were once little boys and girls. With the help of all these loving grandmas and grandpas, could all the toys be made with “hands and hearts” before Christmas?

Book 2

howgrandmasandgrandpassavedchristmas2

The sequel to this series begins when Santa arrives from delivering all the toys to the good boys and girls on Christmas morning. When Santa, Joe, and the elves meet to discuss the next year’s toy making projects, they realize the children are now looking for electronic toys. These electronics the elves have not been trained to operate.

Santa, Mrs Claus, and a few elves go to South America to attend an event full of machines that make electronics. They order a handful of machines and request they get painted with candy cane stripes. Several weeks later, the machines arrive and the elves realize they do not know how to operate these machines and some machines require special electrical sockets or cool down water.

How will Santa and the elves ever get these electronic toys made in time for Christmas? Do you think Santa will depend on the grandmas and grandpas to assist to get these machines running and make the electronic toys for the good little boys and girls this Christmas?

About the book

How Grandmas and  Grandpas Saved Christmas was written by Richard J. Gausselin, in collaboration with Christopher Gausselin and Mary C. Gausselin. My six year old son and I both enjoyed these books. The suspense of how Santa would accomplish his toy making in both books had us both at the edge of our seats. My son especially liked that it was the grandmas and grandpas that saved Christmas as  he imagined his own grandparents going to the North Pole to help make his own Christmas presents if Santa needs the help.

Complimentary copies of both books have been provided for this review. Reviews are also posted on GoodReads and Amazon.

March Grand Prix is colorful and exciting!

A manga, colorful, and exciting trilogy where March is the eldest of four children and the only boy. He loves racing and does so every chance he gets, even when it comes to helping his sister out to deliver 200 apple tarts to Mayor Winters!

Geared towards 7-10 year old readers, my six year old absolutely loved it. Many words, he still is unsure of, so he requested that I read it to him. Normally, I do not care for manga-type books, but since I had it downloaded already, I decided to attempt the first book, Fast and the Furriest, which turned out to be much easier of a read than I first thought. It turns out, we both enjoyed reading the stories!

The illustrations are attractive, colorful, and full of action. The dialogue between characters is active and engaging. Throughout the trilogy, it held my six year old’s attention throughout and the illustrations guided him to place images to the words. Fantastically put together, I give March Grand Prix 5 stars!

Fast and the Furriest

In this first story of March Grand Prix, March is frustrated with his “so uncool” family, especially his sisters who keep fighting and his mother who keeps smothering him. After dropping him off at the racetrack, March checks on his friend Hammond, who is working on March’s race car for a race. Hammond knows everything there is to know about a race car. March eyes up his competition, Lemieux, Clarkson, Alfredo, and Lyca. Each of the competition has something quicker, stronger, and better in their own vehicles than what March has.

MarchGrandPrix - Fast and the Furriest

In a practice run, Lyca manages to sabotage March’s vehicle. Lucky for March, Hammond can fix the vehicle, using parts from March’s “uncool” family’s vehicle. Once the race car is fixed and running, can March beat his competition in the race?

The Baker’s Run

March’s sister April is an entrepreneur who is opening her own bakery. In her grand opening, their Mayor Winters orders 200 apple tarts for his grandson’s birthday. Not only does Hammond find the tarts absolutely delicious, but he’s stuck in the back of April’s delivery van with 200 tarts. And the delivery van runs much slower than March expected, resulting in March losing his mind in it’s extremely low pace.

MarchGrandPrix - Bakers Run

Needless to say, March begins driving a bit reckless and tarts go flying all over the back of the van. At least whatever Hammond hadn’t eaten yet! Will March, Hammond, and April get the tarts to Mayor Winters? How will Mayor Winters feel about some tarts missing or flipped upside-down?

The Grand Desert Rally

This last story in March Grand Prix is about another race. The racers and their mechanics take a boat to an island where the race is located. After learning all he wonderful new upgrades to his vehicle, March learns that he needs a co-driver, a navigator. When no sense of direction mechanic, Hammond, is his navigator, March quickly learns that they are going in a different direction from the racing pack because Hammond is reading he map upside-down!

MarchGrandPrix - Great Desert Ralley

When March and Hammond are decidedly lost and unsure of the direction of the race, they find other racers, who point them in the right direction. Hammond insists March stop to help the others from being stuck in deep sand or rocky terrain. In exchange a driver hands March and Hammond handkerchiefs for protection against the sandstorm up ahead.

While stopping to help everyone else, Lyca is racing up front with March’s sister, May, as her co-driver. Obviously upset with his sister for helping the competition, March continues on as quickly as he can. Can March and Hammond win the race even after helping everyone else?

About the books

NetGalley provided me with this complimentary electronic copy of March Grand Prix, by Kean Soo, published by Capstone Young Readers. Paperback copy of this book can be found at about $14 each.

Do you have a Huggabear?

Several weeks ago or so, I received a tweet from the author of the Huggabear series, Angelique La Fon-Cox. She shared her Huggabear book series and we had a friendly conversation in direct message. She is a delightful mother and wife, who just happens to be an amazing author as well!

Bearwood Forest is the home of Kooshla, Saboo, and Tanuuk Huggabear (who represent the children of the author). The cubs go on adventures taking readers through at least eight tales thus far:

1 – “Wekcome to Bearwood Forest!”

2 – “Heavenly Castles”

3 – “A Cold and Rainy, Wind-Whirly Day”

4 – “The Family Gift”

5 – “Promises of the Forest Berry Fairies”

6 – “We Love the U.S.A.!”

7 – “The Great Dinosaur Discovery”

8 – “Flowers of the Meadow”

In each tale, there are splendid photos of the Huggabears and their adventures. And there’s a hidden symbol (a red heart with a bear paw print in the middle) to find throughout the books!

The first tale I read to my son was Tale 7,  “The Great Dinosaur Discovery” where Kooshla, Saboo, Tanuushka, and their younger cousin Koba go outside with toy dinosaurs. Not only does Koba teach his cousins what herbivores and carnivores are, but they pretend to go back in time when the dinosaurs roamed the earth.

When the cubs “return to modern day” and tell their parents what they’ve been up to, they are given a lesson from scripture about the creation of things we see and things we do not see in this day. The ending of the tale is a lesson regarding the Leviathan and the Behemoth in The Book of Job, which could possibly have been what we now call dinosaurs.

The tales all end in a little scripture and lesson regarding the scripture. All are very important for children and adults to learn. My six year old is a bit too rambunctious to stay still for the tales in its entirety, but I did capture this moment where he pauses at the image:

My son enjoyed finding the heart symbols and steered me away from the actual story at hand. It’s a good thing I got through the first tale before telling him about the symbol! Ack! 
Overall, I enjoyed the tales and learned from each as well! It always amazes me how even children’s books can teach me lessons at my age!

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